(Brooklyn, NY - May 6, 2009)
The Maimonides Stroke Center has received an American Stroke Association Silver Performance Achievement Award for one year of compliance with its Get With The GuidelinesSM (GWTG) Stroke Program. The Maimonides Stroke Center has consistently exceeded the criteria for this Award in every measure, and looks forward to achieving "Gold" recognition, which requires two years of participation in this prestigious and vital national initiative.
"With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the Get With The Guidelines Stroke Program emphasizes the important element of time," said Dr. Steven Rudolph, Director of Stroke Services at Maimonides Medical Center.
At Maimonides, a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the Emergency Department is in place. This includes always being equipped to provide brain imaging scans, having neurologists available to conduct patient evaluations and using clot-busting medications when appropriate.
"We're delighted that our Stroke Team has been recognized for dedication to the highest standards of care," said Pamela S. Brier, President and CEO of Maimonides Medical Center. "This award is another validation of our ongoing commitment to the patients and families we serve."
The award recognizes the commitment and success of Maimonides in implementing the highest standards of stroke care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations. These include aggressive and appropriate use of medications like tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy and cholesterol reducing drugs, and measures such as DVT prophylaxis and smoking cessation.
"The American Stroke Association commends Maimonides and its Stroke Team for success in implementing standards of care and protocols," said Dr. Lee H. Schwamm, national GWTG Steering Committee Member and director of acute stroke services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "The full implementation of acute care and secondary prevention recommendations and guidelines is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of stroke patients."
GWTG-Stroke uses the "teachable moment," the time soon after a patient has had a stroke, when they are most likely to listen to and follow the guidance of healthcare professionals. Studies demonstrate that patients who are taught how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital reduce their risk of a second heart attack or stroke. Through GWTG-Stroke, customized patient education materials are made available at the point of discharge, based on patients' individual risk profiles.
According to the American Stroke Association, each year approximately 700,000 people suffer a stroke - 500,000 are first attacks and 200,000 are recurrent. Of stroke survivors, 21 percent of men and 24 percent of women die within a year, and for those aged 65 and older, the percentage is even higher. The number of acute ischemic stroke patients eligible for treatment is expected to grow over the next decade due to increasing stroke incidence and a large aging population.
The Stroke Center at Maimonides Medical Center is designated by the New York State DOH, and certified by The Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center. To learn more about Stroke and clinical services at Maimonides, visit the website at www.maimonidesmed.org.